The Best Iron supplements for Pregnancy

If you are looking for the best iron supplement to take while pregnant, then you have come to the right place. In this article we’ll cover:

Are you pregnant and wondering if it’s OK to take iron supplements? In this guide we’ll answer your questions, and help you understand the role iron plays in pregnancy.

How much iron does a pregnant woman need?

There is an increased need for iron when pregnant. During this time, the amount of blood in your body increases by 30-50%. This increases the requirement for iron in your body as it’s needed to make haemoglobin, which carries oxygen to other cells in your body.

Research shows that many women do not have sufficient iron in their diet to meet their daily needs. This is also true during pregnancy, especially during the second and third trimesters when dietary iron requirements can increase to as much as 30mg per day.

Avoiding low iron in pregnancy

There are two types of iron found in the diet, non-heme and heme. Non-heme iron is found in plants, nuts and legumes. This is absorbed at a much lower rate than heme iron, which is found in animal products such as meat, especially red meat.

It’s important to remember that even if you are making a conscious effort to ingest more heme iron, by eating meat, most health authorities recommend a safe upper intake of only 500g of red meat per week. Also, other daily habits like drinking tea and coffee after your meals can reduce iron absorption.

You can get iron from food, but it may not be absorbed well, and it may not be sufficient to meet your increased requirements during pregnancy.

Iron supplements could benefit pregnant women who are unable to meet their dietary iron requirements. However, food supplements are not a substitute for a varied diet and a healthy lifestyle.

Iron is an essential mineral and this applies even more so to pregnant women. Click here to check out the Active Iron store. Active Iron is highly absorbed compared to other iron supplements, making it strong enough to increase iron levels whilst being gentle on the stomach¹


Iron Supplements in pregnancy

There are many iron supplements available over the counter. Ferrous sulfate is considered the ‘gold standard’ and is the most commonly recommended form of iron in the UK and Ireland.

Most iron supplements dissolve in the stomach. This can lead to oxidation and gut inflammation, which can lead to common side effects associated with iron supplements, such as constipation and nausea. 

Woman suffering from menstrual cramps

Active Iron has a unique non-constipating formula that helps reduce gut irritation from iron. Formulated by scientists, Active Iron is clinically proven to increase iron levels while being gentle on the stomach²

The Best Iron Supplements for pregnant women

Active Iron has a range of iron supplements that are suitable for preconception, during pregnancy, and postnatally. 

Active Iron Pregnancy Plus

Active Iron Pregnancy Plus is a specially developed, award winning combination product. It provides the complete nutritional solution for mum & baby, before during, and after pregnancy. 

Active Iron Pregnancy Plus contains three key components:

  1. Active Iron – 25mg Active Iron capsule, clinically proven to increase iron levels and help avoid gut irritation from iron. Non-constipating formula.
  2. Complete Multivitamin – A specially formulated complete multivitamin tablet. It includes 20 essential vitamins and minerals including L-methylfolate and vitamin D. L-methylfolate is folic acid delivered in an active, naturally occurring form that delivers greater absorption compared to standard folic acid.
  3. Omega 3 DHA – 100% sustainably sourced omega-3 DHA fish oil capsule, with AlaskOmega® omega-3 concentrates.

Active Iron Pregnancy Plus Review

“I was advised by a midwife to take these during pregnancy as the ones prescribed made me very sick. They have been amazing and I love that you get your multivitamins too. They are on the large side so will take a while to get used to.” – Rebecca Harries 

Review Source

Active Iron Advance

Active Iron Advance is clinically proven to increase iron levels and support haemoglobin formation. It contains the same high dose as Active Iron Pregnancy Plus so it is ideal throughout all stages of pregnancy, whether you are prenatal, pregnant or postnatal, you can even take it while breastfeeding.

Active Iron Advance Review

“Very good iron capsules – I normally have a very upset stomach when I take the iron tablets given by my Doctor. I bought these and I am doing very well on them. Many thanks” – Jane Laffan

Review Source

Active Iron Advance: buy now

Pregnancy Iron Supplements FAQ’s


What is the best iron supplement for pregnancy without constipation?

Active Iron is clinically proven to help avoid common iron side effects such as constipation, nausea, and diarrhoea². 

What are the best over the counter iron supplements for pregnancy?

Active Iron can be considered to be one of the best over the counter iron supplements you can take during pregnancy because it is clinically proven to increase iron levels whilst helping to avoid common side effects such as nausea and constipation².

Are there any side effects from taking iron supplements in pregnancy?

While common iron supplement side effects can include nausea, constipation, diarrhoea, Active Iron is clinically proven to help avoid these side effects as it is highly absorbed. 

What are the benefits of taking iron supplements when pregnant?

Iron intake plays a vital role in supporting a healthy pregnancy for both mum and baby but may also lead women to having more enjoyable pregnancies in general, by helping to reduce symptoms such as tiredness and fatigue.

¹Wang et al. 2017, Acta Haematologica, 138: 223-232. ²Ledwidge et al. 2021, Data on file. doi: 

Avril Flynn

Avril Flynn


Avril Flynn is a registered midwife and mum of one. As an expert in women’s health, Avril has been helping women gain knowledge and confidence for years. She takes a holistic approach to ensure parents feel empowered as they navigate parenthood. @AvrilTheMidwife